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Meeting Minutes

USATF Board of Directors
Conference Call
April 21, 2010

Stephanie Hightower, Jack Wickens, Ken Taylor, Philip Dunn, Kim Haines, Evie Dennis, Bob Hersh, Elizabeth Phillips, Jeff Darman, Aretha Hill Thurmond, Willie Banks, Max Siegel, Steve Holman, Larry James (non-voting Counsel), Darlene Hickman (non-voting Secretary)  

Office Staff:  Doug Logan, Mike McNees, Lamont Jones, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, Jill Geer, Gina Miller, Shayna Sangster  

Quorum was present.  Stephanie Hightower opened the meeting at 4:04pm (EST).

Each of the Ethics Committee appointees has accepted his or her appointment.  Jon Drummond will submit an athlete nominee to President Hightower.  Larry James, Lamont Jones and Stephanie Hightower will meet to outline the roles and responsibilities of the committee members.  

Doug Logan, Darlene Hickman and USATF Director of Events Brian Brase will have a call with Hightower regarding the Annual Meeting.  A task force is being formed to develop a plan and review the revised schedule.  Brase has worked to get input from the committee chairs and a report will be available in June.  There will be a trial schedule presented by the end of April.  

Jack Wickens and Willie Banks attended the Disabled Athlete Conference in Washington D.C.  They discussed the goals of the organization and how they can integrate with USATF.  The primary advocates for the Disabled Athletes Program are creating a proposal that will be reviewed by Wickens, Banks and a designated staff member from the national office.  

The next in-person Board meeting is scheduled for Saturday, June 26th in conjunction with the Outdoor Track & Field Championships.  

Next month Hightower will meet with Wickens, Miller and Siegel to have a Board engagement strategy session.  She would like everyone on the Board to be fully engaged and have each member working in an area where his or her strengths can be utilized.  Logan and McNees will be conferenced in to see how the Board can work more intimately with programs within the national office.  

Former USATF President, Pat Rico has been extremely ill.  Bob Hersh reported that Rico has been in a medically induced coma for the past month.

Prior to the meeting, an expense policy was sent out for review by the Board.  Hightower requested that the finance committee review the document then resend it to the Board for the May meeting.


Audit Committee
Auditors have been at the national office this week.  The Audit Committee will meet in Indianapolis on May 22nd to conclude the 2009 audit.

Competitions Committee
The competitions Committee has a conference call scheduled for Monday, April 26th.  There have been some staffing issues with the Youth Olympics Games Committee.  The international selection committee chose the staff for the Games.  The World Junior Men’s Head Coach stepped down and Ed Gorman has been nominated to replace him.

Business Development Committee
The Business Development Committee has been meeting once a month and is starting to gain clarity on realities and opportunities around sponsorship expansion and TV strategies.  They are in the idea generating stage.

Logan reported that within the last 30 days Nike has exercised the option to extend the contract to 2016.  USATF management was anticipating this happening, but the announcement came earlier than expected.

In March, Logan attended the World Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar and the World Cross Country Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland.  The team won 17 medals in Doha, which is one of the highest medal counts in history.  The Women’s team won bronze in Poland and was the only non-African team to medal.

The USOC has officially broken off conversations with Comcast for an Olympic network.  This has very little impact on USATF, but the Board should be aware that after four years and a significant amount of investment, the USOC has decided to abort negotiations.

There are three primary ways which an association can fail to meet the obligations imposed by the bylaws. The first is failure to submit a 990 to the IRS.  There are four associations that have not submitted a 2008 form 990 (Colorado, Metropolitan, Three Rivers &Wyoming).  Wyoming is currently suspended; Metropolitan has a provisional accreditation, while Colorado and Three Rivers are fully accredited.

The second involves budget deficits on the 990 filings.  Adirondack had a deficit in 2006, 2007 and 2008.  Metropolitan has had a deficit in its last three filings. The third category involves failure to update bylaws to comply with USATF regulations.  Both West Texas and Wyoming have had their voting rights suspended for not complying with the mandate.

The Organizational Services Committee is in charge of monitoring the Associations compliance with the bylaws.  Logan will submit a letter to Ed Koch, Chair of the committee, to encourage him to act throughout the year on different association delinquency issues.

There was a recent article in the New York Times regarding the issue at USA Swimming.  Swimming is undergoing upheaval over several coaches who have been accused, indicted or convicted of sexual assault.  The Swimming Board of Directors issued a seven point plan to deal with the issue.  Logan will send a memo to Hightower and to the appropriate Board committees to evaluate what we should be doing regarding our Coaching Education program.  Logan will also send a memo to the entire Board explaining the current procedures USATF has in place regarding background checks.  The USOC will form a panel to address this issue and Logan has expressed his interest in participating.

Logan thanked Max Siegel for coming to the national office in Indianapolis and speaking to the staff regarding his new book entitled, "Know What Makes Them Tick: How to Negotiate Almost Any Situation".  The staff enjoyed the experience and Logan extended an invitation to all Board members to stop by the office when traveling in the Indianapolis area.

The Trials contract with the Houston Marathon is almost complete.  There are some procedural issues that need to be tied up, but the final contract should be executed soon.

Mike McNees discussed the Excellence Challenge Grants.  The criteria and process of selection has been posted on the website, and a press release has been sent out including this information.  The deadline for application is May 15th and the announcement date is June 28th.  Everyone needs to understand that this is a one time grant.  Applicants will need to sustain funds for long term projects.  The staff will review the applications then forward them on to the Competitions and Operations Committee for review.

There is a contract in place to webcast the 12 events in the USA Running Circuit.

President Hightower circulated an email from AAC Chair, Jon Drummond that contained a grievance against Doug Logan and the USATF administration.  The grievance was discussed amongst the Board and Aretha Thurmond, Philip Dunn and Willie Banks formed a committee to speak with Drummond about the grievance.

Meeting adjourned at 5:37pm (EST).


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